The lack of Chinese tourists due to COVID-19 travel restrictions has been a blow to countries around the world which rely on large parts to Chinese visitors to prop up their tourism industry. Indeed, several countries within Asia are endeavouring to encourage China’s vast population to travel again.
In May, China and South Korea launched ‘travel corridors’ to allow for flights between selected cities, including Seoul to Shanghai. Later in the year, 270,000 stores in Seoul welcomed WeChat Pay to encourage Chinese tourists.
Thailand’s Culture Minister Ittipol Khunpluem has just announced that Thailand will recognise Chinese New Year (February 12) as a special holiday for the first time this year in a move to attract Chinese tourists and stimulate economic growth.
Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year, is a public holiday in a number of Asian countries, including Vietnam, Singapore and Korea. It is also widely celebrated throughout the world in international cities such as Tokyo, London, Sydney, San Francisco, Vancouver and Los Angeles. However, this marks the first time that Thailand, home to the largest Chinese immigration country in Southeast Asia, is officially marking it as a holiday. Thailand has a population of approximately 10 million Chinese, which represents almost 15% of the country’s population.
Want to learn more about Chinese New Year? Register for Qumin and China Britain Business Council’s Hacking Chinese New Year event.